These cities can help recent grads meet their career goals

A return on investment is increasingly important for students as they evaluate their higher-ed options. A new report from WalletHub details 2020’s best cities to find a job–cities where recent graduates can lay the groundwork to meet their career goals.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ jobs report notes that the most recent unemployment rate of 3.6 percent is only a bit higher than September 2019’s rate of 3.5 percent–a 50-year low, notes WalletHub’s Adam McCann.

Related content: Initiative targets college to career transition 

This low unemployment rate means many recent college grads may have more employment possibilities available to them–and they may also have freedom to pick and choose the career and location that best aligns with their long-term employment goals.

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Here’s how AI can elevate higher ed

Conversations around artificial intelligence’s potential in higher education are growing, and a report outlines some of the ways in which AI could revolutionize higher education.

Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education: Current Uses and Future Applications, from The Learning House, casts a critical eye on the immediate and future applications of AI in higher ed, and it also examines implementation challenges.

The report also highlights important policy guidance and recommendations that are likely to accelerate AI innovation or, if unrealized, stifle its growth and adoption.

Related content: Is your campus ready for AI and other tech trends?

For example, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) last updated in 2001, predates many common education technologies including smartphones, tablets, wireless data, MOOCs, and even online education programs in general. The brief also cites necessary changes to policies on data security and accreditation.

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University degree path focuses on digital media instruction

Northern Vermont University (NVU) is launching a new online Master of Arts in Education with a Concentration in Digital Media Instruction program.

The new program features Discovery Education’s professional development content. NVU’s innovative program is designed for classroom teachers, educational technology specialists, and other instructional professionals seeking an affordable, flexible way to enhance their professional credentials and improve their classroom practice.

NVU is the latest institution of higher education to launch an online Master’s degree program powered by Discovery Education professional development content. Other institutions offering Discovery Education affiliated-programs include Buena Vista University, University of Findlay, and Wilkes University.

NVU’s new online Master of Arts in Education with a Concentration in Digital Media Instruction is a 35-credit hour program. Combining the study of educational principles with an exploration of digital media instruction methods, this unique degree program prepares educators for the classrooms and students of tomorrow.

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U.S. News releases online program rankings for 2020

Ohio State University–Columbus, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University—Worldwide, and the University of Illinois—Chicago take the top three spots for best online bachelor’s degree programs in U.S. News & World Report’s 2020 Best Online Program rankings.

The rankings are particularly helpful for adults interested in furthering their education, especially amid growing awareness that workers will need to invest in their skills and continue learning throughout their careers–referred to as “upskilling.”

Related content: Efforts to upskill workers grow across industries 

The rankings evaluate more than 1,600 distance education bachelor’s and master’s degree programs. The master’s programs include seven disciplines, such as nursing, business and engineering.

For the first time, Rush University in Illinois is the top school among Best Online Master’s in Nursing Programs. Among online MBAs, Indiana University—Bloomington and the University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill tie for No. 1. Ohio State University—Columbus places highest among Best Online Bachelor’s Programs, while the University of Southern California remains at the top for computer information technology master’s programs. The University of California—Los Angeles ties with Columbia University in New York for the top spot among master’s-level engineering programs. For master’s-level education, Clemson University in South Carolina is home to the No. 1 program.

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5 ways to strengthen campus IT for students

Most students (70 percent) say they prefer mostly or completely face-to-face learning environments, but those preferences are greatly impacted by specific demographic factors.

This finding and others about learning preferences and digital tools are documented in EDUCAUSE’s 2019 study on students and information technology. The report pulls from data on more than 40,000 students across 118 U.S. institutions.

Related content: 5 reasons we upgraded our campus Wi-Fi

Married students or those in a domestic partnership, students working 40 or more hours weekly, students age 25 or older, and those who have both a physical and a learning disability requiring technology for coursework all say they strongly prefer classes that are mostly or entirely online, according to the research.

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3 things keeping students from on-campus mental health resources

Sixty-one percent of students feel overwhelming anxiety, according to a report from the American College Health Association survey of more than 63,000 students at 92 schools. Another survey from META, which developed a teletherapy app designed exclusively for colleges, shows that 81 percent of students say they suffer from a mental health condition.

But while students sometimes struggle to manage these conditions, they aren’t always seeking help from on-campus counseling centers.

Related content: 4 ways investing in campus mental health resources pays off

META’s survey results reveal three reasons students aren’t using their institution’s counseling centers and how universities can support students outside of on-campus mental health resources.

Students don’t have time

College students are busier than ever balancing academic, extracurricular, and social activities. With so much going on, it’s easy to see why students don’t have time to seek out on-campus mental health resources. In fact, 57 percent of students’ reported that their schedules don’t allow time to seek a therapist on campus.

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When is higher ed worth it?

For years, stakeholders have sought to define what, exactly, Americans value from their education. Many have focused on wages, in part due to studies demonstrating that college graduates earn more over a lifetime than their non-graduate peers. But the answer might not be related to wages at all.

Instead, people say they see more value in their education when their courses strongly relate to their work, and when they have high-quality, applied-learning experiences and top-notch career and academic advising opportunities.

Related content: 14 things faculty say about higher ed today

The Strada Education Network partnered with Gallup to ask more than 340,000 people about their postsecondary educational and professional experiences. In doing so, the groups hoped to create an actionable dataset for educators, policymakers, and employers.

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How architecture can improve campus safety

Any campus-wide design and planning process requires the engagement of a wide range of departments and stakeholders, which can include facility, administration, IT, student services, student life, security and academic departments. Security specialists may be added to the team if the institution feels their insight will bring value. The designer’s role is to then break down silos between these entities with the goal of collaboratively creating a unified plan for campus safety and security.

Campus circulation patterns are a key element in design for campus safety, both controlling and directing patterns of pedestrian and vehicular circulation. The design and planning team collectively maps these patterns—existing roads, sidewalks, bike lanes, bus stops and other vehicular and transit means, but also how pedestrians may create pathways around buildings and across green spaces and natural areas. In addition, sight lines, ‘blind spots’ and potential opportunities for circulation along unplanned paths must be explored and analyzed with the intent of reducing or preventing these situations.

Related content: 6 lessons about campus redesign

For example, the former student union building at NC State University was uninviting and monolithic. Rather than walk through the building, which was a safer option, students had been circulating around and behind it, past dumpsters and service areas. Thus, in designing the new Talley Student Union, the old structure was opened from within and lighting and views into the facility now draw students into and through the space.

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5 things to help you think like a futurist

In 2018 we celebrated the 50-year anniversary of the founding of the Institute for the Future (IFTF). No other futures organization has survived for this long; we’ve actually survived our own forecasts! In these five decades we learned a lot, and we still believe—even more strongly than before—that systematic thinking about the future is absolutely essential for helping people make better choices today, whether you are an individual or a member of an educational institution or government organization. We view short-termism as the greatest threat not only to organizations but to society as a whole.

In my 20 years at the Institute, I’ve developed five core principles for futures thinking:

  1. Forget about predictions.
  2. Focus on signals.
  3. Look back to see forward.
  4. Uncover patterns.
  5. Create a community.

Related content: Future-proof your campus before it’s too late

#1: Forget about predictions

If somebody tells you they can predict the future, don’t believe them. Nobody can predict large socio-technical transformations and what exactly these are going to look like. We are getting better at making point predictions. There are prediction markets and all kinds of data-rich tools with which we’re trying to predict elections, market share prices, and the success of product introductions. All of these focus on one particular event, a particular point. But a lot of our work at the Institute for the Future is focused on comprehending big, complex transformations—rather than just one thing, one event. We’re looking at the interconnection between technologies and society and economics and organizations.

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3 ways colleges can use SMS text marketing

No matter how large or small, colleges often have a hard time disseminating information, news, and alerts to faculty, staff, students, and parents. Flyers, posts on school websites, social media accounts, and even blast emails aren’t enough anymore. Colleges need to take a strategy out of the business marketing playbook and use SMS text marketing. With six times the engagement of email, text marketing gives institutions the opportunity to interact with their target audience at a moment’s notice.

Not only does 98 percent of the population in the United States have access to a mobile device capable of sending and receiving SMS messages, but people with mobile devices are text-obsessed and check their messages constantly.

Related content: Smart marketing strategies to boost student engagement

According to a recent report, over half of all smartphone owners check their phones at least five times per hour, or over 120 times per 24 waking hours. This ensures text messages sent by colleges will be seen and opened, making them more top-of-mind than any other alert system currently in place.

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